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TB still world’s deadliest infection, India accounts for 27% of global cases

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New Delhi, Sep 20: India accounts for 27% of the 10 million people who developed Tuberculosis in 2017, the highest among the top 30 high TB burden countries in the world, according to the latest report by the World Health Organisation.

"TB is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide, and since 2011 it has been the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS," the report said, adding that it claims over 4,000 lives a day.

TB still world’s deadliest infection, India accounts for 27% of global cases

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The report said that of distribution of the 10 million people, who developed the disease in 2017, 5.8 million were men, 3.2 million were women and 1.0 million were children.

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"Two-thirds were in eight countries: India (27%), China (9%), Indonesia (8%), the Philippines (6%), Pakistan (5%), Nigeria (4%), Bangladesh (4%) and South Africa (3%). These and 22 other countries in WHO's list of 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of the world's cases. Only 6% of global cases were in the WHO European Region (3%) and WHO Region of the Americas (3%)," said the report.

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The report showed that overall, deaths from tuberculosis have decreased over the past year, however, underreporting and under-diagnosis of TB cases remains a major challenge.

It also mentioned that India was an example of a country that took major steps in 2017-18 to expand TB-specific cash transfers and linkages to broader nutrition schemes to improve treatment outcome.

It said that for the past year, the Revised National TB Control Programme and National AIDS Control Organisation in India have been capturing data to evaluate TB case-finding activities among people attending anti-retroviral therapy centres for HIV treatment.

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An estimated 558,000 people worldwide in 2017 were resistant to rifampicin, the most effective first-line TB drug, and of these, 82% had MDR-TB that is resistant to more than one drug.

WHO has urged for decisive action from nearly 50 heads of state and government who are expected to gather next week for the first-ever UN High-level Meeting on TB.

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